Master of Arts with Concentration in Religion and the Environment

The concentration is designed for those students who intend to pursue further graduate education in theology or its cognate disciplines or those who seek additional depth of knowledge in a particular field of study. It may be appropriate in some cases for those who do not plan to pursue doctoral study but who expect to teach in a specific discipline in institutions overseas.

Graduation from the School of Theology follows the successful completion of all requirements for the specified program of study and the approval of the degree by the Senate of the University upon nomination by the Faculty of the School of Theology.

A Master of Arts student who has successfully completed all prescribed work, has completed all non-credit degree requirements, has submitted a complete portfolio if applicable, and has a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.33 is eligible to be awarded the Master of Arts degree. Work toward the degree is to be concluded within four consecutive years from the date of matriculation.

Additionally, a student must satisfy all financial obligations to the University. The University will neither confer a degree nor provide transcripts to any student or former student who has unsatisfied financial obligations to the University.


Drawing on the distinctive strengths of the School of Theology and the Environmental Studies Program and affiliated departments of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Master of Arts with a concentration in Religion and the Environment is a flexible program that utilizes Sewanee’s unique ability to contribute to an internationally recognized and vibrant field of interdisciplinary inquiry. After a basic grounding in the tools of Biblical studies, theology, and ethics, distribution requirements guide students so they are exposed to a variety of perspectives on environmental issues, ranging from the “hard sciences” to policy studies. Further elective work within the concentration allows the student to pursue specific interests, and a research project serves as the capstone in the concentration.

Core Courses 1
BIBL 501Old Testament I: From Prehistory to the Promised Land3
BIBL 502Old Testament II: Prophets, Exile, and Aftermath3
BIBL 511New Testament I: The Gospels in Context3
BIBL 512New Testament II: The Bible after Jesus3
CEMT 511Introduction to Moral Theology3
THEO 511Introduction to Christian Theology3
Concentration 2, 318
Select one of the following courses in environmental theology or ethics:
Many Sides of Sustainability
Environmental Ethics
Climate Ethics
Environmental Ethics
God and Nature
Readings in Contemporary Eco-Theology
Creation, Evolution, and God
Readings in Teilhard de Chardin
Select one of the following courses in environmental policy:
Environmental Economics
Environmental Policy and Law
Water Resource Policy and Law
International Environmental Policy
Select one of the following environmentally-themed courses in Religious Studies (RELG): Religion (at least three hours from the following):
Religious Environmentalism
Religion and Ecology
Greening Buddhism
Select one of the following courses in environmental science:
Field Investigations in Biology
Advanced Conservation Biology
Ecology (Lab)
Biodiversity: Pattern and Process (Lab)
Introduction to Forestry (Lab)
Physical Geology (Lab)
Select two additional courses from those listed above or from the list of approved electives within the concentration 4
Select three additional elective courses. Recommended options include the following:9
Contemporary Moral Issues
Community and Organizational Leadership
THEO 598Research Project 53
Total Semester Hours48

Course substitutions may be made with the approval of the advisor. To substitute a course within the respective areas of Biblical Studies (BIBL), Christian Ethics and Moral Theology (CEMT), or Systematic Theology (THEO), the students must seek the advisor's permission; the advisor, in turn, notifies the Coordinator of Academic Affairs, who registers the student for the substituted course(s).


In addition to the courses listed below for each area, substitutions may be approved by the advisor. To substitute a different course within the areas below, the student must seek the advisor's permission; the advisor, in turn, notifies the Coordinator of Academic Affairs, who registers the student for the approved substitute course(s).


Six courses are required for the concentration. Depending on the courses selected, the number of semester hours required for the concentration may range from a minimum of 18 to a maximum of 24.


These courses will be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor to create a focus on policy, arts, humanities, or science, preparatory to the work of the research project. Certain courses require specific academic background, while others are open without prerequisite. Students should consult with their advisor and with the instructor of courses of interest to determine appropriate placement.


The student will undertake a research project in the last year of enrollment. In the Advent semester, the student secures the agreement of a faculty member from the School of Theology and a faculty member from the College to supervise the project. The student develops a project proposal in consultation with the supervisors, and no later than November 15 submits the proposal to the advisor and the Office of Academic Affairs. The research project is to be a contribution to scholarly discussion. It is to be 5,500-7,500 words or equivalent exclusive of documentation and is to be submitted to the project supervisors once it is completed, no later than April 15 for graduation in May.

Non-credit Degree Requirements1

Bibliography, Research, and Writing Workshop
Cultural Diversity Workshop
Education for Ministry (EfM) Workshop
Safeguarding God's Children Workshop
Safeguarding God's People Workshop
THEO 566Religion and Environment Colloquium 20

For details on these workshops, see the Non-credit Degree Requirements for Graduation section.


Students are required to enroll in THEO 566 each semester.